Blogging can be fun, right? Especially when you’re passionate about something and feel like you have a lot to say about it. There are millions of bloggers out there – with WPVirtuoso.com claiming there were 152m blogs on the internet in 2013 alone. So, should you join the masses and start blogging?
The answer really depends on what you’re looking to achieve. I’ve seen many people start a blog and give up on it very quickly (including myself). Why? It takes time and effort – two ‘commodities’ in life. However, here I am – committed to this blog. What’s changed? Aside from having ‘things to say’ (like this), I know what I want to achieve from a blog; a place to express myself and my experience within digital. Hopefully my experience can help people make more informed decisions – exactly how blogs like Moz and Kissmetrics help me.
Additionally, blogging can help with SEO, as it’s a way to regularly update your website and also extend your keyword reach. Take for example a shop selling trainers, the keyword focus will generally be around brands and trainers. However, with a blog entitled ‘Top 10 Tips for New Runners’, you can potentially attract people to your website who are thinking about running but not necessarily looking for trainers… yet. In essence, it provides another entrance to your website and can help target potential customers ‘higher up the funnel’ (e.g. not quite ready to buy yet but could ‘convert’ in the future), who can potentially be nurtured through a good CRM programme.
A blog can also allow for a two way conversation with your audience (optional, of course) – as opposed to them just reading the standard ‘about us’, ‘services’ and ‘contact’ sections of your website. Best of all, it can stimulate conversation, potentially debate, within your audience itself. Going back to the example above, Person X may not agree with point four of the blog post, whereas Person Y may strongly agree with it. Consequently, there is the potential pressure for moderation on comments (e.g. abusive) and of course, ensuring you have adequate protection against spam.
Even though a blog in most cases is ‘free’ (in the monetary sense), it takes time and effort, as mentioned above. As the old saying goes ‘time is money’ – could you be doing something more productive with your time? I try to put a few hours a week aside to do this blog, which although doesn’t seem a lot – it can be difficult. Saying that, we’re live in an age where technology is all around us – so I often make notes on my phone (e.g. on the train) when I have ideas. Then during the course of the week, I’ll try to expand on them with bullet points before turning into a blog post here.
Furthermore, a blog can of course be monetised – especially as it’s likely to get you a wider and thus larger (than your normal) audience, which can be seen as another source of income. In fact, it’s probably a big driver for many personal bloggers (as opposed to business bloggers) as digital advertising spend in the UK hit the £199m mark recently.
Going back to the point ‘time is money’, before you potentially think about doing a blog, ask yourself the same question posed above, could you be doing something more productive with your time? Talking to one of my startup clients the other day, I recommended they focus on case studies and testimonials before they commit to a blog (and social). If you’re not sure about whether you should be blogging or not, as always, feel free to get in touch to talk it through.